Tani Chen counsels clients in patent prosecution in a wide variety of areas, including biomolecular engineering, nanotechnology, tissue engineering, drug delivery, fuel cells, chemical processes, and analytical devices. Tani has a particular focus on small businesses and university research, and has helped companies develop strong IP protection based on their business goals and potential threats from competitors. Tani particularly enjoys working with start-up companies, and helping strengthen their competitive positions in the marketplace though patent prosecution, trade secret protection, diligence of competitor interests, identification of whitespace and potential barriers to entry, and the like.

Tani is also very active in the Boston innovation ecosystem, and has successfully mentored teams for the MIT 100k, the MIT Enterprise Forum, and other business plan competitions, including more than a few that have made it to the finals rounds. In addition, Tani is a regular guest lecturer on patent basics at several area schools.

Prior to joining the firm, Tani was a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriners Hospital for Children, focusing on engineering approaches for preserving biological materials under cryological and desiccant conditions. Tani’s doctoral work at MIT studied techniques for drug delivery across human skin using a pulsed, high-voltage electric field. Tani has also performed several research studies and design projects as a consultant for the Dow Chemical Company and the U.S. Army at the Natick Research, Development, and Engineering Laboratories.

Client testimonial:
"I was in my car driving home after a tough day. I was thinking about a tough licensing problem and asked Tani Chen to explain to me the value of a particular patent, and he really walked me through it step by step. He took me through the three stages of the technology and helped me understand the importance of each one from a business perspective. That he could explain that all to me while I was driving demonstrates that he could really simplify complex things in a way that I could understand."
  • Managed the patent estate for an early-stage pharmaceutical company, originally filed pro se, including developing the estate to include nearly 50 families of applications. Oversaw the licensing of various aspects of the estate to two major pharmaceutical companies in business deals that were valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • Took over management of an IP portfolio for a start-up company in the cleantech space, including several applications filed by other law firms, and worked closely with the company to refocus its IP portfolio and R&D efforts on the business goals identified by the company without significantly increasing IP expenditures. The company’s improved focus has been helpful for identifying commercialization partners as the company grows beyond its original founding team.
  • Managed a complex portfolio of closely-related patent families in the microfluidics space on behalf of a leading research university. There are over 75 different patent families with 8 different licensees, with several new start-up companies currently planned to commercialize various portions of the portfolio. 
  • Wrote a key patent application for a leading research university under severe time constraints (less than 24 hours) in advance of an upcoming publication in Nature that was appearing the next day. The technology was subsequently licensed to a large Japanese equipment manufacturer, in large part due to the comprehensiveness of the patent application even over the Nature publication, and annual sales of the technology now reach tens to hundreds of millions of dollars. 
  • Managed the patent portfolio of a medical device start-up as it grew from just the two founders to approximately 50 employees and FDA approval of its beachhead product, including overseeing diligence during several investor funding rounds. In that time, the patent filings of the company have grown from its initial founding application to a complex of nearly 40 patent filings, covering various chemical, mechanical, fluidic, and biosensor aspects of the device. 
  • Expanded the patent portfolio of a closely-held pharmaceutical company from 3 initial provisional applications filed by another firm to a large, diverse collection of patent filings, leading to over 70 issued US patents that form a core component of the company’s business objectives. Valuation of the company’s IP estate is estimated in the millions of the dollars.

  • American Bar Association
  • American Chemical Society
  • Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts
  • Boston Patent Law Association
Tani has repeatedly been named one of Massachusetts Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars” in the field of intellectual property law.


Tani has a patent in the area of controlling molecular transport under pulsed electric field conditions by adding certain chemicals during pulsing.

Tani was the lead author of two of the top 10 cited articles between 2000-2009 in the scientific journal Cryobiology.

Tani ran several weekly radio shows for a number of years on WMBR, MIT’s radio station, including shows directed to indie new age and C-pop (including Mandopop and Tai-pop) music. He also was involved in station management, and directed the training of new DJs at the station. A paper about some of his on-air work was published in the Skeptical Inquirer.

Tani also created a board wargame on the history of China, entitled China: The Middle Kingdom, now published by Decision Games. He also published an article on Chinese military history in the journal Strategy & Tactics.

Tani volunteers as a coach for the MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s robotic outreach program, which sponsors teams of grade school students for the FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) competition. In 2017, his team won the first place trophy in Computer Programming at the Massachusetts state FLL tournament.

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Tani Chen counsels clients in patent prosecution in a wide variety of areas, including biomolecular engineering, nanotechnology, tissue engineering, drug delivery, fuel cells, chemical processes, and analytical devices. Tani has a particular focus on small businesses and university research, and has helped companies develop strong IP protection based on their business goals and potential threats from competitors. Tani particularly enjoys working with start-up companies, and helping strengthen their competitive positions in the marketplace though patent prosecution, trade secret protection, diligence of competitor interests, identification of whitespace and potential barriers to entry, and the like.

Tani is also very active in the Boston innovation ecosystem, and has successfully mentored teams for the MIT 100k, the MIT Enterprise Forum, and other business plan competitions, including more than a few that have made it to the finals rounds. In addition, Tani is a regular guest lecturer on patent basics at several area schools.

Prior to joining the firm, Tani was a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriners Hospital for Children, focusing on engineering approaches for preserving biological materials under cryological and desiccant conditions. Tani’s doctoral work at MIT studied techniques for drug delivery across human skin using a pulsed, high-voltage electric field. Tani has also performed several research studies and design projects as a consultant for the Dow Chemical Company and the U.S. Army at the Natick Research, Development, and Engineering Laboratories.

Client testimonial:
"I was in my car driving home after a tough day. I was thinking about a tough licensing problem and asked Tani Chen to explain to me the value of a particular patent, and he really walked me through it step by step. He took me through the three stages of the technology and helped me understand the importance of each one from a business perspective. That he could explain that all to me while I was driving demonstrates that he could really simplify complex things in a way that I could understand."
  • Managed the patent estate for an early-stage pharmaceutical company, originally filed pro se, including developing the estate to include nearly 50 families of applications. Oversaw the licensing of various aspects of the estate to two major pharmaceutical companies in business deals that were valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • Took over management of an IP portfolio for a start-up company in the cleantech space, including several applications filed by other law firms, and worked closely with the company to refocus its IP portfolio and R&D efforts on the business goals identified by the company without significantly increasing IP expenditures. The company’s improved focus has been helpful for identifying commercialization partners as the company grows beyond its original founding team.
  • Managed a complex portfolio of closely-related patent families in the microfluidics space on behalf of a leading research university. There are over 75 different patent families with 8 different licensees, with several new start-up companies currently planned to commercialize various portions of the portfolio. 
  • Wrote a key patent application for a leading research university under severe time constraints (less than 24 hours) in advance of an upcoming publication in Nature that was appearing the next day. The technology was subsequently licensed to a large Japanese equipment manufacturer, in large part due to the comprehensiveness of the patent application even over the Nature publication, and annual sales of the technology now reach tens to hundreds of millions of dollars. 
  • Managed the patent portfolio of a medical device start-up as it grew from just the two founders to approximately 50 employees and FDA approval of its beachhead product, including overseeing diligence during several investor funding rounds. In that time, the patent filings of the company have grown from its initial founding application to a complex of nearly 40 patent filings, covering various chemical, mechanical, fluidic, and biosensor aspects of the device. 
  • Expanded the patent portfolio of a closely-held pharmaceutical company from 3 initial provisional applications filed by another firm to a large, diverse collection of patent filings, leading to over 70 issued US patents that form a core component of the company’s business objectives. Valuation of the company’s IP estate is estimated in the millions of the dollars.

  • American Bar Association
  • American Chemical Society
  • Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts
  • Boston Patent Law Association
Tani has repeatedly been named one of Massachusetts Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars” in the field of intellectual property law.


Tani has a patent in the area of controlling molecular transport under pulsed electric field conditions by adding certain chemicals during pulsing.

Tani was the lead author of two of the top 10 cited articles between 2000-2009 in the scientific journal Cryobiology.

Tani ran several weekly radio shows for a number of years on WMBR, MIT’s radio station, including shows directed to indie new age and C-pop (including Mandopop and Tai-pop) music. He also was involved in station management, and directed the training of new DJs at the station. A paper about some of his on-air work was published in the Skeptical Inquirer.

Tani also created a board wargame on the history of China, entitled China: The Middle Kingdom, now published by Decision Games. He also published an article on Chinese military history in the journal Strategy & Tactics.

Tani volunteers as a coach for the MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s robotic outreach program, which sponsors teams of grade school students for the FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) competition. In 2017, his team won the first place trophy in Computer Programming at the Massachusetts state FLL tournament.